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ACC Weekend Recap

By Carlos Pineda
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Georgia Tech came back from a 13-point deficit in the second quarter and shut out the Tar Heels 14-0 in the second half to pick up yet another Coastal Division win early in the season.

Game of the Week

Georgia Tech 28, North Carolina 20 — The Yellow Jackets came back from a 13-point deficit in the second quarter and shut out the Tar Heels 14-0 in the second half to pick up yet another Coastal Division win early in the season. Quarterback Vad Lee completed 7 of 12 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown pass. He also added 55 rushing yards on 24 carries and scored a third-quarter TD give Georgia Tech its first lead of the game, 21-20.

Tech rushed for 324 yards, including 100 from Robert Godhigh and 99 from David Sims. The Tar Heels (1-2, 0-1) took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter, as running back Romar Morris scored a four-yard TD and quarterback Bryn Renner connected with tight end Eric Ebron on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Another Renner TD pass in the second quarter looked to give North Carolina the advantage with the Yellow Jackets offense struggling early on to get their footing.

But Georgia Tech found its rhythm and eventually the win at a rain-soaked Bobby Dodd Stadium. A few negatives for the Yellow Jackets came in the form of injuries to three starters on defense. Linebacker Quayshawn Nealy and safety Chris Melton left the game in the first half, and safety Jamal Golden left during the third quarter.

Post-game Thoughts

— Georgia Tech is in really good shape this season, albeit early. The Yellow Jackets have already picked up two wins in the division, including a come-from-behind victory over North Carolina, a team many felt would be in the mix to represent the Coastal Division in Charlotte. The Yellow Jackets now face a struggling Virginia Tech squad this Thursday night.

— The Yellow Jackets are inching closer to being ranked in both major polls. GT received 30 votes in the AP top 25 poll Sunday, making them unofficially 27th in the poll. In the USA Today Coaches' poll, they received 47 votes, which puts them at 26th. A win against the Hokies would most likely see Tech ranked next week.

— North Carolina has two losses already this season, but that's not as bad as it looks. One was non-conference, and the other happened early enough in the season that the Tar Heels could still be in the hunt in the division later on in the season, if they can get things rolling. Traditionally, the Coastal has been a toss up.

— Virginia Tech's offense continues to struggle. The Hokies needed a late fourth-quarter touchdown to force overtime against Marshall and eventually won 29-21 in triple overtime. Despite averaging 24.8 points per game, Virginia Tech's defense has found a way to keep the team in the game the past two weeks and thus VT is 3-1 this season. The Hokies have been fortunate the past two weeks, but that luck will eventually run out if they can't put points on the board.

— Maryland is off to its best start since 2001, when it won the ACC and played in the Orange Bowl, after it shut out longtime rival West Virginia 37-0 on Saturday. The Terrapins (4-0) led by 30 at halftime and snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Mountaineers. Maryland takes this momentum into the Florida State game at Doak Campbell Stadium in two weeks. We'll find out then how real this Terps team is.

— Pittsburgh won its first ACC game and it didn't come easy. Despite taking an early lead on Duke, the 58-55 shootout wasn't decided until late in the fourth quarter. Pitt put up 598 yards of total offense, as quarterback Tom Savage completed 23 of 33 passes for 424 yards and six touchdowns.

— Clemson remained No. 3 and No. 4 respectively in the AP and Coaches' polls, Florida State remained eighth in both polls, while Miami moved up 15th in both polls. The addition of Georgia Tech with a win over Virginia Tech would give the ACC a fourth ranked team in the polls.

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.